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South African Parliament mourns passing of last apartheid president FW de Klerk

FW de Klerk

De Klerk, the last president of apartheid South Africa and key actor in the country’s transition to democracy, has died

Cape Town, South Africa | Xinhua | The presiding officers of the parliament of South Africa on Thursday extended their condolences to the family of South Africa’s last apartheid president, FW de Klerk over his death earlier in the morning.

Although de Klerk espoused “controversial and polarizing views” regarding the legacy of the system of apartheid in South Africa, he was also the “most realistic of all leaders of the apartheid regime” who had the courage and decisiveness to “cross the Rubicon and reached where others couldn’t,” thereby paving the way for democratic reforms, said Speaker of the National Assembly Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Amos Masondo, who are both from the African National Congress (ANC), once led by Nelson Mandela in the anti-apartheid struggle. Mandela shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with de Klerk.

While regretting de Klerk’s stance toward the devastation caused by the apartheid system, they praised his foresight about the inevitable falling of the apartheid and contribution to laying the foundation for the new South Africa.

De Klerk passed away at the age of 85 at his home in Cape Town, following his struggle against mesothelioma cancer, said FW de Klerk Foundation, named after and founded by the former president.

De Klerk during his presidency from September 1989 to May 1994 initiated and presided over the inclusive negotiations that led to the dismantling of apartheid established in 1948 and the adoption of South Africa’s first fully democratic constitution in December 1993.

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Xinhua

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